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Heron Island Resort
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Reviews (1,790)
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777
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All reviewsthe great barrier reefreef sharksbird lifebird poohigh tidereef roomdive boatlemon sharkssea planenatural beautynesting birdssea liferesearch stationseafood buffetturtle hatchlingsinformation centredive shop
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8 - 13 of 1,790 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

...can't I give it 0 stars?

First I'll mention that I went to Heron Island in 2001 and was very pleased. In 2018 I went back and was horrified. First I'll back-up my title claims - with photo proof.

Dirty: Fly's and bugs on everything, the food at the buffet, "clean" glassware at the bar (see photos), random stains on the bedroom walls (see photos), bird stench/smells that you never get used to, we got pooped on (birds) EVERY time we left the room, and I got sick from their under cooked restaurant food.

Loud: Birds, at all hours, making VERY loud screeching sounds. Louder and more shrill than you could ever image, at all hours. You won't sleep w/o earplugs...and even then.

Unfriendly: I remember a completely different experience in 2001. Everyone working the island indicated they were new (high turnover?) and were VERY unfriendly. Never got so much as a smile, we were treated like a burden, and they never did anything close to make us feel welcome. At one point (after not sleeping for 2 nights - bird noises, and sick from their food) I asked to see a manager and I was denied the right to see/talk to him (too busy)- thanks Eron! Ended up leaving the island early for a loss or 2 nights, they refused to refund us despite being sick and sleepless from the birds/food.

I would NOT recommend staying there. Yes the beaches are wonderful and the diving is great, but you'll have to endure too much discomfort to make it meaningful. Stay on another island: Green Island, Lizard Island, Hayman Island, etc.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank awb2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear awb2222 please accept my sincere apologies that although you enjoyed Heron Island's wonderful beaches and great diving due to Heron Island's unique location on the Great Barrier Reef, which is a protected habitat for a stunning variety of wildlife, that you found the birds noisy and smelly.
The birds are a critical part of the teeming ecosystem that flourishes on Heron Island where you are very much a guest of the natural environment although we understand an authentic Great Barrier Reef experience is not for everyone so we appreciate your feedback.

The team members who dealt with your request to leave early due to the noisy birds do not recall you requesting to speak to a manager when your request for a refund was unsuccessful.

We are very proud of our wonderful team who work hard to ensure we provide our guests with an enjoyable holiday and the best Great Barrier Reef experience possible.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you wish to discuss further.
Warm regards
Karen Sweeney
sales.australia@aldestahotels.com

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stayed at the resort only 2 days but we had enough experiences to thrill us for years.
The staff are welcoming, warm, knowledgeable and fun. If you look hard you can find
little cracks and imperfections in the facilities but these should not spoil your time on the island. We saw large turtles laying their eggs, hatchlings and sharks circling for a meal.
You can easily snorkel off the beach to see the majestic rays, turtles, sharks and the colorful Maori Wrasse. Open water snorkeling and diving are fun and readily available.
Dinner was spectacular with great wines or cocktails. Breakfast is not of a high standard but serviceable. The nesting birds are everywhere and we love bird watching.

Room Tip: We stayed in a Wistari Suite and the air-conditioning worked well. Daily reef tours at low tide are a must.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank waldshut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear waldshut

Thank you for your sharing your appreciation of our beautiful island situated in such a unique location, in a world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where you can snorkel straight off the beach and of our wonderful staff on TripAdvisor.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Heron Island one day soon!

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and I recently had a week at this little piece of paradise. We booked a special through Luxury Escapes, it was because we had a significant discount that it compensated somewhat for aspects that were lacking during our stay.
The cleanliness in our accommodation was not of a high standard. I feel that a supervisor needed to double check each room as there was dirt in our bathroom all week.
The food was really variable - from wow this is good in both quality and quantity to really ‘this is dinner’?
Breakfast was also very repetitive, the same selection all week.
The hospitality staff were very friendly but not as polished as they should be for a resort which is far from inexpensive.
On arrival we are told that the island has a keyless policy, yet no room safes were available! Maybe we could be informed of this at the time of booking?
Lastly, please a big sliding door and no screen? With only one ceiling fan I can’t imagine how hot it must be in the middle of summer with only one window in the bathroom and having to keep the sliding door shut to keep insects and birds out.
We would come back to enjoy all the bounty of nature on this island but the resort itself is another matter.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Elwyna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, Public Relations Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Elwyna
Many thanks for your review of your stay at this 'little piece of paradise' which is world famous for its spectacular coral reef, extraordinary variety of aquatic life, nesting turtles and abundant birdlife. Our Heron Island Resort team is very proud of our Advanced Ecotourism Certification providing through guest’s inductions awareness of environmental policies to ensure our footprint is minimal due to Heron Island Resort’s unique location in a World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Since taking over the property on 01/12/17 there has been a significant overhaul of all products, standards, sourcing fresh local produce and staff. Introduction of a la carte evening meals, chefs station on (reduced) buffet nights, breakfast items cooked to order.

Our housekeeping team are especially diligent although sometimes guest rooms are not serviced until 4pm - which we do make a point of saying. Depending on occupancy it is just not possible to do so much earlier, however we find that guests are very relaxed about this and indeed are out exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
There are no day trippers on the Island, any valuables are able to be stored safely at reception so you are free to enjoy your holiday snorkelling off the beach without the worry of losing keys

I do appreciate your comments as our team work hard to provide our guests with the best Great Barrier Reef Experience possible and we look forward to another opportunity to welcome you back to enjoy all the bounty of nature on this beautiful island.





































































































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Reviewed 21 March 2018 via mobile

Heron island
Wow , one of my best beach holidays ever, out performed Mauritius, Thailand and Zanzibar. From the tranquil walks on the beach to swimming with turtles, sting rays and a multitude off different fish. Staff are extremely knowledgeable of the bird and sea life as well as the amazing stars which come out every night.
Suggestions for the resort
>shower pressure very poor >maintenance of the room patios >cleaning the rooms properly
Recommendations for guests
>snorkel trips
>stargazing
>Ala Carte menu
>unit 30 to 33 or 70 to 73 , sea view at the best price

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank stumonster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2018

As a long time world traveller and former inn owner I was struck by the incredible opportunity this resort has. The nature here is 5 Star. However, the new owners will have to do considerable work on restaurant, bar, and housekeeping before I would recommend this to anyone at their 4 star prices.
The resort provides your only food option, but the restaurant menu is limited, and bar food next to non-existent. Bar has no fryer, no grill, for food options beyond narrow restaurant opening times. Restaurant staff overworked, distracted, and poorly trained. Bar staff failed to clean soiled tables between lunch and dinner. Further they kept attempting to charge me different amounts for same item. Restaurant breakfast buffet reminded me of recent experience with Canadian camp food.
Sanitary standards, in restaurant, kitchen, bar and in rooms highly suspect. Despite investment to keep birds from wandering in restaurant and kitchen with extensive wire mesh, on each day of our four day visit saw birds wandering around restaurant and hopping on tables eating and leaving their call sign. When I asked wait staff about this, was told "the bird will find its way out'. Would the restaurant inspector take the same casual view?
We had to make three interventions for housekeeping to clean (poorly)our room by 4PM of our first full day. It was clear that housekeeping was poorly trained and not thorough. As I wrote this review, I stare at what appears to be a well aged blood stain, above my unit window.
It was sad to experience such a major operational/management fail. New management will need to assess the hundreds of ways they need to enhance their product and guest experience.

Room Tip: Ask about the changes made by new management. Beware, most rooms have no AC and ceiling fans of limited effectiveness.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank MikelSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarenSweeneyHeronIs, General Manager at Heron Island Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 March 2018

Hi MikelSky

Many thanks for your review of your stay at Heron Island - I would be most interested to have known of when you did stay with us as your comments are reminiscent of what our resort used to be like, not what it is like today!

Since taking over the property on 01/12/17 there has been a significant overhaul of all products, standards and indeed staffing. Introduction of a la carte evening meals, chefs station on (reduced) buffet nights, breakfast items cooked to order, freshly prepared sandwiches/wraps/rolls/salads/cakes/fruit on display and available at our "Baillies's Corner" adjacent to the bar from 10.00 daily - our food options for guests have never been better and since this significant overhaul we have had nothing but praise for our food offering.
Birds in the restaurant and kitchen is certainly nothing we encourage for the obvious reasons! I have never seen or been aware of birds on tables eating and leaving their mark ... As for the kitchen it is physically impossible for them to enter the kitchen as those who have actually seen our kitchen can attest to. Our sanitary standards are excellent as supported by regular regulatory inspections.

Our housekeeping team are especially diligent, I can only comment of the past 3.5 months of course, but there has not been one complaint. Sometimes guest rooms are not serviced until 4pm - which we do make a point of saying. Depending on occupancy it is just not possible to do so much earlier, however we find that guests are very relaxed about this and indeed are out exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Gecko's are notorious for leaving their little mark around the windows.

I do appreciate your comments and welcome you to return to Heron Island - I think you will notice a vast difference! The resort is looking beautiful, the new owners are investing heavily both back and front of house, whilst the staff here are the most beautiful, friendly and professional group of people one could have the pleasure to be around. We'd love to see you back here!

Best wishes

Tony

Tony Barradale
General Manager

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